An Inspiration Round-Up

I’m on the run this week due to my own poor planning, so I can’t even begin to think of a blog post today. I thought I’d share with y’all some things on writing around the web that I found crazy awesome.

When Sugar–advice columnist for The Rumpus–hears from a 26 year old woman who “writes like a girl” and is a “writer who can’t write”, she responds with “So write . . . Not like a girl. Not like a boy. Write like a motherfucker.” The result is epic. Here’s a snippet to entice you:

Yes, we can rattle off a list of women writers who’ve killed themselves and yes, we may conjecture that their status as women in the societies in which they lived contributed to the depressive and desperate state that caused them to do so. But it isn’t the unifying theme.

You know what is?

How many women wrote beautiful novels and stories and poems and essays and plays and scripts and songs in spite of all the crap they endured. How many of them didn’t collapse in a heap of “I could have been better than this” and instead went right ahead and became better than anyone would have predicted or allowed them to be. The unifying theme is resilience and faith. The unifying theme is being a warrior and a motherfucker. It is not fragility. It’s strength. It’s nerve. And “if your Nerve, deny you –,” as Emily Dickinson wrote, “go above your Nerve.” Writing is hard for every last one of us—straight white men included.

Next up: we writers are fabricators, it’s true. But we get in trouble when we lie to ourselves. Chuck Wendig simultaneously calls us on our shit and entertains us with his brilliant post, Lies Writers Tell.  The enticing snippet, on the lie “I don’t write for money”:

Oh, aren’t you fucking special. You’re above money, are you? You have transcended the need to exist in this material world? “I write my inky words on paper and then I eat that paper and live within the ether of mine own storytelling!” Hey, good for you, you crazy little Bodhisattva, you. I tried not paying my mortgage and when you do that, the bank sends ninjas.

I do not have the luxury of caring naught about currency.

Next is Austin Kleon’s Steal like an Artist, complete with stick figures and random photos and this little bit:

Believe it or not, I get a lot of inspiration from people like Bob Ross and Martha Stewart. Bob Ross taught people how to paint. He gave his secrets away. Martha Stewart teaches you how to make your house and your life awesome. She gives her secrets away.

People love it when you give your secrets away, and sometimes, if you’re smart about it, they’ll reward you by buying the things you’re selling.

Next up, a video of J.K. Rowling’s “The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination,” at Harvard.

J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement from Harvard Magazine on Vimeo.

Finally, another video: Elizabeth Gilbert talking about the idea of a muse or a genius, to help us deal with the pressures of worrying about writing (or other creative work), on TED.



2 thoughts on “An Inspiration Round-Up

  1. Great post, but I couldn’t get the Elizabeth Gilbert clip to play. I love her work even before EAT, PRAY, LOVE.

    1. Jen, something’s up with either TED or wordpress. BUT, I have changed the embedded video to a link that you should be able to follow to see the video.

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